We've embraced self-censorship

Americans were so concerned about authoritarian censorship by the government that we completely missed the irony that Cancel Culture is equally as oppressive, but because it's a punishment communities inflict on themselves, it's for some reason not seen as such a big deal. Cancel Culture can ruin lives and even result in loss of freedom. It's equally as damning as federal censorship. Why are we more okay with it than we are with "official" censorship?

Is It Normal?
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  • Have we though? Most of the time I hear about “cancel culture” it’s people complaining about it.

    Societal rejection has always been a thing, anyway. This is just a newer name for one version of it.

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    • I mean if you were fired because of something you said on a heated tweet. Fine you were canceled.

      If you talk about borderline issues in public and have a reaction that's just people who disagree.

      Be like the rest of us. Have a modest public face and when you are private (or iin) feel free to talk in detail about racial differences or sexual phenomena.

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  • We have always self-censored. This is not some new concept.

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  • That cancel culture that usually occurs is a direct result of capitalism.

    Want to be a dick? Sure, but people are going to dislike you or your company. Want to be a self righteous virtue signaler? Sure, but the opposite end of the spectrum are going to dislike you just as much.

    Very, very rarely does cancel culture impact the person being "canceled" to enough of a degree for them to care. This most often happens to people who are either sexual predators (IE: Bill Cosby, the YouTuber MiniLadd, Kevin Spacy, or R. Kelly.) or just generally awful people (IE: Kanye West, Scott Adams, or Andrew Tate.)

    Usually, actual cancel culture falls flat and merely becomes a court of popular opinion. For examples of this occuring, please see below.

    Brands the American left have tried to (unsuccessfully) cancel for one reason or another:

    Elon Musk - Asshole, pretends to be "founder" of companies he buys.
    Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling's comments on transgenderism.
    Dave Chappelle - Edgy humour.
    Chris Pratt - Religious beliefs.
    Jimmy Falon - Wore black face.
    Pepsi - Out of touch 2016 advertisement
    Gina Carano - Political beliefs
    Elen DeGeneres - She is a horrible boss.
    Nestlé - An all around horrible company.
    FOX News - Not woke enough.
    ProJared - Unsubstantiated sexual harrassment claim. Was debunked.

    Brands the American right have tried (unsuccessfully) to cancel:

    Nike - Supports left wing idealogy.
    The Chicks/The Dixie Chicks - Changed name to be less associated with the Confederacy.
    Ellen DeGeneres - For being gay.
    Rihanna - Promiscuous.
    Lil Nas X - Music video features him twerking on the devil.
    NASCAR - Banned Confederate flags.
    Colin Kaepernick - Kneeled during national anthem.
    Dungeons and Dragons - Witchcraft and demons.
    Disney - Too woke.
    Harry Potter - Witchcraft.
    Doom - Demons.
    Belle Delphine - Sex work.

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    • Not sure if anyone remembers this, but there was also a Gillette razor commercial about "toxic masculinity" that caused them to get attempted-cancelled.

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    • I find witchcraft to be funny. Hell if I was a videogame developer for a magic system I'd be proud to be condemned by the jehovah's witnesses.

      Magic isnt real, it's not satan powers to have a fictional charicter throw fire to burn more fictional creatures.

      Also last I checked isnt most miracles just mundane magical crap? You got the parting of the seas but that's like a tier 3 magic ability.

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  • Americans, and really all Westerners, got played like fools. We grew up reading books like 1984, BnW, Handmaid's Tale so we could be eternally vigilant against the risks of authoritarianism. Then we grew up trusting the news and media to report the news rather than make the news and influence peoples' thinking and now we trust those that seek to eliminate democracy. Not to mention the modern education system and most crap on tv dumbs you down.

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  • Cancel Culture is bad, but it is clear that the censorship thing is beginning to become more out of hand. Take, for instance, the British man who reposted on Facebook, an image of a "progressive pride flag", but with 4 copies of it, rotated to appear like a swastika. He was arrested shortly after, although I don't know what's become of him.
    The main problem is, governments are claiming the right to arrest over hate speech, and by claiming that something someone says is hate speech, they have the right to arrest them. That's why the man who reposted the pride swastika was arrested, under the guise of "hate speech". Anything can be consider hate speech, if pushed far enough, meaning that the government can effectively arrest anyone for saying anything they disagree with, if they wanted to.

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  • Self censorship is one thing organized cancel culture is another.

    I've always encouraged people to vote with their feet or their own money on an individual basis. However, when you organize campaigns, take out adds on line, or block entrances, or prevent others from doing business with somebody because you don't like them that's self censoring on steroids.

    I think a lot of people have their head in the sand about cancel culture. If it doesn't affect them directly they don't see it. Ask a lot of CEO's how much money it has cost them even remarketing and renaming can be a major expense. It is also divisive, forces people and businesses to give in or chose a side. Which infact cuts their market in half or thirds. (There is a third that really don't care).

    I have no problem with: if you don't like it, then turn it off, don't buy it, don't go there, whatever, but when you take action to enforce your opinion on others you have stepped over the line.

    Unfortunately, even most laws are a kind of cancel culture thing. If you can get 50%+1 of the outspoken, active people to agree on something it can get voted in to law, and forced down the other 49.9%. I really wish it took 70 or 75% to make something a law. Then a big majority would have to agree or major compromise would have to take place. And it wouldn't change everytime the ruling party changed hands by 1% or less.

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  • Pretty much, yeah. This isn't new, though. That's what "political correctness" was.

    I've been saying for a while, however privately, that it's not really "free speech" if the backlash is harsh enough. That's how you get to the point where everyone is in a bubble and no one has any idea what's going on (for reference, go back and look at the mass confusion when Trump won the presidency, or more recently when the right failed their "red wave").

    It's not the same thing as cancel culture. Cancel culture is usually talking about larger-scale stuff, like businesses or celebrities. Self-censorship is an ordinary-citizen thing. It's what happens when you have different beliefs, political or otherwise, from the people you talk to, but don't say anything because you don't want to get shunned. In a better world, we would only do that around touchy assholes. Instead, we got everyone rolling out a soapbox and apologizing profusely whenever they say anything out of step. They always have to act like they learned something.

    They didn't. All they learned was to shut up. We have no idea what they really think about the subject because they're just reacting to the backlash, and we don't care because might makes right and the majority is always on the side of the truth.

    On the occasion the person decides not to apologize, they're often the type that is very rigid, which is more honest but still fails to make this less of a problem.

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  • I would say cancel culture is actually worse than oppressive laws in some ways. For example if the government passes a law that says you can’t wear ties on casual Fridays, then you know specifically what’s ok or not under the law, and you know the likely consequences if you do decide to wear a tie on Fridays. But with the woke mob their new cause or trend changes every other weekend, and there’s no way of knowing if they’ll get you fired from your job, debank you, ban your twitter, or some novel punishment.

    Some people may say government censorship like in Europe or Asia is way worse than western cancel culture because in the US you don’t get a really severe punishment (like being sent to prison) for hate speech or whatever the offense is. But besides the fact that dissidents in the US often suffer punishments in lieu of going to prison (eg. debanking) that even convicted violent criminals don’t have to suffer, the cancel culture also just affects a larger number of people than there are Europeans sent to prison for things like holocaust denial or hate speech, since very few Europeans are going out of their way to publicly break those laws.

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    • I think the way to look at it is scale. In america If you are popular, you got to be MUCH more aware of your public opinions if you are a single person or a small group you really dont have to give a shit. If you are in europe if you wave around a nazi flag that's prison.

      Theres a time and place to discuss socially retarded opinions. Or be like me and have a specific attribute (being roughly affiliate) about a that gives security on talking about certain topics.

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  • Call-out culture is even worse

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